Pheasants Forever is proud to announce four new Build a Wildlife Area® projects in the organization’s home state of Minnesota. The properties, totaling 437 acres throughout Mahnomen, McLeod, Otter Tail and Swift counties, strengthen habitat corridors in the upland bird range by adding critical public lands acreage to existing Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs).
“Whenever we can bolster existing habitat complexes paired with public access, meaningful outcomes are produced for wildlife, hunters, sustainability measures, and local economies,” said Jared Wiklund, director of communications for Pheasants Forever. “We’re thankful to the numerous partners, chapters, and donors who continue to help the organization deliver our mission pillars of public access and habitat at an extremely high level, including these wonderful projects.”
Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area program has permanently protected more than 225,000 acres of habitat in 16 states through this unique, partner-driven matching gift program. Through local, state, and federal grants and individual private donations, Build A Wildlife Area designates funds directly toward land acquisition projects to create public access, conserve critical habitat for wildlife, and preserve outdoor heritage traditions.
Haggman WPA Addition
Located in Mahnomen County northeast of Fargo, this property surrounds the 80-acre Haggman WPA. Across the road to the north is a 360-acre Wetland Reserve Easement, which is partially overlaid on a 1,900-acre U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) wetland easement. To the southeast of this property is the Santwire Wildlife Management Area, which totals over 500 acres. Within a two-mile radius, there are numerous wetlands protected under USFWS and Wetland Reserve Easements, as well as five other WPAs — making this addition a major connecting parcel to many protected acres of prairie wetland habitat.
This project was made possible by the following partners: Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, and the Pine to Prairie Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
Phasianus WPA Addition
This acquisition adds 146 acres to Phasianus WPA in McLeod County, which already totals over 500 acres. Due west of the Twin Cities, McLeod County is a popular destination for Minnesota hunters, making this parcel an ideal place to expand public access in the state. The property is estimated to support 61-80 breeding duck pairs per square mile and is well suited for future habitat improvements. The complex will serve as a nesting, brooding, and winter cover area for the resident ringneck population.
This project was made possible by the following partners: Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the McLeod County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
Meyer Prairie WPA Addition
This 79-acre WPA addition resides in Otter Tail County, between Brainerd and Fargo. It rounds out an existing 80-acre WPA to 160 total acres and is part of a habitat corridor with thousands of acres of contiguous conservation lands stretching unbroken to the north. Immediately adjacent is Coyour Memorial WMA.
This parcel is within the Otter Tail Prairie SNA strategic focus area of the statewide Prairie Plan and is located on the Glacial Lake Agassiz Beachridges that run north and south through the far western portion of Minnesota. The property has supported prairie chicken leks in the past and will improve habitat connectivity for the species.
This project was made possible by the following partners: Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Otter Tail County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
Lubenow WPA Addition
Located in Swift County, this parcel is located adjacent to Lubenow WPA and will add to an extensive complex of protected wetlands. The area currently supports 21-30 pairs of waterfowl per square mile, but has historically supported more than 100. This project will also add much needed grassland nesting cover to Lubenow WPA that will benefit upland birds and waterfowl alike.
This project was made possible by the following partners: Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Swift County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, and the Carpenters for Conservation Chapter of Pheasants Forever
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.